Tea or Coffee – which Do you prefer?

by Christine Sine

Economies may rock and roll, natural disasters may devastate our planet but our faith in tea and/or coffee goes on forever depending on where we grew up – or at least that is what I assumed until I read this article. .  I always drink tea when in Britain or Australia and coffee in Europe and the US.  We welcome guests from Australia, NZ and Britain only if they bring a month’s supply of my favourite teas with them.  And to be honest I can’t get my day started unless I slosh with at least 3 or 4 cups of good black tea.  I am sorry but this is one place where I will never be satisfied with something that is grown locally.   

I have never forgotten the first time I asked for a cup of tea in the US and received a cup of luke warm water with a tea bag sitting beside it.  Talk about culture shock.  It doesn’t get much worse than that.  I know that Americans don’t know how to make a good cup of tea so I am not sure how I should respond to this news – It appears that tea has been discovered by Silicon Valley and is being toted by some as the drink of the future.  

“It’s one of those things where you want to turn to something really natural and from the Earth — and from something that isn’t going to give you a big crash,” Rose told Wired.com. “Once you start consuming tea it makes sense: This is the best of all worlds.”  read more

Now I agree that tea is the best of all worlds, but I cannot imagine it becoming the drink of choice for the average American.  However I can always live in hope – and maybe, just maybe, one of these days I will even dare to ask for a cup of tea in an American restaurant and not expect to get something that looks and tastes like lukewarm dishwater.  What do you think?  What is your drink of choice and how does it shape your life?

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0 comment

Andy April 3, 2009 - 5:25 am

Tea, coffee, I love ’em both – if their good quality and brewed properly.

I prefer my coffee very dark and very strong. I also prefer strong Chinese tea, my favorite is Oolong with Ginseng, but I also like Gungfu tea, puer, Titkunyuan.

Now for those of you having trouble deciding between the two, the Chinese in Hong Kong have combined coffee with Chinese milk-tea calling their concoction Yuenyeung (likely referring to the common pairing of Mandarin ducks, a symbol of conjugal love).

I like the milk-tea, a Hong Kong variation on English tea, but I’m not too keen on mixing my coffee culture with my tea culture – I guess I’m just a bit xenophobic that way.

Kristine April 3, 2009 - 4:23 pm

I’m a coffee girl and yet I like tea as well but only if I go to a formal tea or visit a tea house. Tea seems more like an event for me. Tea causes you to relax and reflect whereas coffee is an on the go drink from my perspective. I have smiled to myself as I’ve read the comments because my mother-in-law is a tea drinker. She, her mom, and her sister keep kettles on their stoves and when they make tea they don’t pour the water until the kettle screams, sipping piping hot tea with a stare of concentration…

Judy April 3, 2009 - 5:02 pm

I’m definitely into coffee more than tea. Some might even call me a coffee snob. I can’t drink it if it’s not brewed for the right amount of time or if it’s too weak. Just like Christine with tea, I can’t order it in restaurants or let myself take some from a host if I have doubts about their brewing tactics. Call me a control freak, but there is a right way and a wrong way to make coffee.

About tea becoming “the next big thing,” there are a few places I know of here in Seattle that cater to true tea snobs. The young hipster crowd that wants to avoid the mainstream yuppie coffee craze has turned to tea as the anti-establishment, let-me-show-you-how-much-I-know-about-something-you-know-nothing-about-because-you’re-caught-up-in-American-consumerism fad. But these places make a MEAN cup of tea. I recommend Remedy Teas on 15th.

DoctorProdWorthy October 17, 2009 - 1:34 am

It’s true, you can’t beat a good cuppa (tea). I take very strong coffee first thing in the morning to get rid of the “Just got up” headache, but tea for the the remainder of the day.

Tea is much more soothing than coffee, provided you treat it as an excuse to unwind for five minutes. I discovered a herbal tea by Good Earth, in the US, which had cinnamon, cloves and other spices.It reminded me of mince pies (an Xmas dessert), but I can’t find it listed now. .

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